Sergio Gadea returns to world championship as replacement for injured Tom Lüthi
Lüthi has been released from hospital yesterday and already started the rehabilitation program for his right arm, but a date when he will be fully recovered or just fit enough to race is still somewhat uncertain. The 125cc champion from 2005 has set himself the goal to return for the first European Grand Prix of the season in Jerez, but it remains to be seen if this can be achieved.
For the final official preseason test in Jerez from 18th to 21st of March as well as the first one or two races of the year, the team has now signed on Sergio Gadea as a replacement. The 28-year-old has taken three victories in the 125cc class during his nine-year-career and also took a podium position as a Moto2 rider in 2010.
Shortly before the end of the 2011 season the Valencian suffered a heavy crash at the Japanese Grand Prix in Motegi which left him unable to compete for several weeks. Not finding a sponsor to finance a ride for the 2012 season, he has been absent from the MotoGP paddock for over a year now.
Replacing Lüthi in the highly experienced Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Team now gives him the chance to find new sponsors while the team can still be present at all race events without pressuring Lüthi into coming back too early before being sufficiently recovered.
Sergio Gadea: Returning to the world championship with such a professional team and a top bike is a great chance for me. Throughout last year I kept fit on various bikes and just waited for an opportunity like this. Spain is going through some hard times, which is why it’s gotten very difficult to find sponsors. All the more reason to be excited about this opportunity and I will do absolutely everything to get the best possible results.
The Suter MMX2 is the bike of the world champion which speaks as much for itself as the victories and podiums which Tom Lüthi achieved with his team and this bike. But there are no miracles in this sport and even though I already competed one season in the Moto2 class, I can’t dream of being able to fight that far at the front immediately. Still, I’m optimistic, because both at Jerez where the last three days of testing take place and in Qatar, the scene of the first race, I had some good results in the past.
During the tests I will try to get to know the bike as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Then we’ll see on what level we can compete. I can’t wait to open the throttle again and pay back the trust that’s been placed in me.”
Daniel M. Epp – team owner: “That Tom has successfully gone through the second surgery and continues to be on his way to full recovery makes us all happy and is the most important news of all. But despite this it is realistic to expect a recovery time of about two months, which is why we nominated Sergio Gadea as the replacement rider for the IRTA test in Jerez and probably the first two races of the season. With three victories and a total of 18 podiums, Sergio has proven that he belongs to the top riders in the Grand Prix scene and deserves a new chance. At the same time Tom can recover without any time pressure. But of course the team and his bike will be ready for him when he’s fit again.”
Source: Interwetten Racing Team